Clean Air for Smaller Cities in the ASEAN Region

Projects and Program Description: Completed


Air quality in smaller cities is increasingly being given importance in ASEAN member countries. However, in many cases the smaller cities lack regular air quality monitoring results, since usually they do not have the financial resources or the required experience to carry out measurements. Most of the time, exhaust emissions from traffic are the main causes of air pollution. In other cases, managing emissions from industry, coal mines and power plants becomes essential in improving air quality.

The project resulted in the implementation of clean air plans developed by the cities themselves and in improved living conditions (direct impact). During the first project phase, one to two cities each, were selected in seven of the ten ASEAN member countries (Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), and received advisory services in the development of clean air plans with the participation of the private sector and the civil society. The ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta coordinated and supported the project implementation. The direct implementation responsibility, however, was with the cities and the respective national authorities, in particular when it came to legal framework and emission standards development. Modes of delivery for the project were direct advisory services, training and, to a smaller extent, purchase of equipment, e.g. for simple air quality monitoring devices. Dissemination of experience were performed through national and regional workshops.

In 2003, the ASEAN ministers of environment established the ASEAN Working Group for Environmentally Sustainable Cities/AWGESC) with the task to implement environmentally sustainable urban development strategies. One of the focal areas is Clean Air. A number of ASEAN member countries are already being supported by funding agencies in implementing air quality-related initiatives. However, the focus of most of these projects is mainly on metropolitan areas, whereas the envisaged project is being implemented in small to medium-sized cities.


Funding Sources / Donors:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Status of Project: Completed (2012)

Implementing Agencies:
ASEAN Secretariat/City Governments

Regions Covered:
• Southeast Asia

Countries Covered:
• Countries in the ASEAN Region

Related Contact
Glynda Bathan-Baterina glynda.bathan(at)